Tom Waits and Keith Richards Unveil Swashbuckling ‘Shenandoah’ Cover

Tom Waits and Keith Richards

This isn’t Tom Waits and Keith Richards’ first time on the high seas together. The Rolling Stones co-founder has played guitar on three of Waits’ albums, most recently 2011’s Bad as Me. So when the two cross swords on Johnny Depp’s Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys, due out February 19 via ANTI-, it’s more than a nautically themed curio. In fact, the two treat folk staple “Shenandoah” — which Bruce Springsteen also covered on his 2006 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions — with reverence befitting its long history. Sure, Waits doesn’t skimp on his gravelly growl, but Richards hardly transforms his pirate’s bandana into music here, instead offering a tender backing vocal and mournfully evocative guitar leads. Real pirates don’t have to say “arrrr.”

Listen over at NPR.

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